Sherman Smith in the Topeka Capital-Journal:
Dale Ho’s mic drop flourish with a key witness for Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach made for one of the most memorable moments in a trial over the state’s voter registration law.
But it wasn’t the first time the American Civil Liberties Union attorney exposed Jesse Richman’s ignorance in recognizing a federal judge, and from Ho’s perspective, it wasn’t Richman’s biggest calamity.
Embarrassed and bitter, Richman’s testimony became a hallmark of the seven-day trial, which ended last week with a coda to determine if Kobach should be held in contempt of court. An army of ACLU attorneys probed the work of Kobach’s expert witnesses to undermine their academic merit while Kobach and his assistants appeared unprepared, inviting harsh words from U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson.
Already, Kobach’s office is working to address its failure to comply with Robinson’s order to send postcards to suspended voters who were given a green light when the judge blocked enforcement of proof of citizenship requirements.
Robinson’s fury intensified during the contempt hearing when Kobach’s election director, Bryan Caskey, admitted Kobach never instructed him to carry out the judge’s order. Kobach told Robinson postcards were being sent before November 2016 elections.
“I honored and trusted what you told me,” Robinson said.